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The 10 Best Self Defense Weapons for Women

For women, carrying a self-defense weapon can level the playing field and give you the upper hand in a dangerous situation. Many women have found themselves in situations in which they wish they had some means of defending themselves against an attacker.

No matter what self-defense weapon you decide on, it’s crucial to select a weapon you’re comfortable using and learn to use it effectively. Training is available for most of the self-defense weapons included in this list.

Keep reading for the best self defense weapons for women.

A woman defending herself with pepper spray. Best self defense weapons for women.

Self-Defense Weapons for Women

There are a large variety of different types of self-defense weapons for women, ranging from nonlethal pepper spray and tasers to more lethal weapons like batons and knives. Regardless of which weapon you decide to go with, make sure to always be aware of your surroundings and trust your instincts.

1. Tasers

A woman holding a taser.

A Taser is one of the best non-lethal self-defense weapons for women. Tasers use electric shocks to incapacitate your attacker for enough time that you can get away or call for help. These weapons are incredibly effective at halting an attacker in their steps.

Since Tasers may not be legal in all states, it’s important to do your research. Before choosing this weapon, check out the laws regarding ownership and possession of a Taser. If you decide to go with a Taser, make sure you receive proper training before using it. Otherwise, it could easily be used against you.

2. Stun Guns

Closeup of a loaded stun gun.

Stun guns are another popular non-lethal self-defense weapon for women. These weapons are often used by law enforcement as well, so that should speak for their effectiveness.

When used properly, you can take down an attacker even from a short distance with a stun gun. Stun guns work by connecting a pair of electrodes to an attacker. This can be done in close proximity, or from a short distance by shooting the electrodes.

These electrodes deliver a high-voltage shock to the body, which overwhelms and disables the nervous system, causing the body to become incapacitated for anywhere from five to sixty minutes. While your assailant is recovering from the temporary paralysis induced by the high-voltage electric shock you have time to run away and call for help.

It’s crucial that you complete some training before using a stun gun because it can be taken and used against you, especially if you’re not very comfortable or experienced using it.

3. Pepper Sprays

A woman holding a can of pepper spray.

Pepper spray is one of the most popular non-lethal self-defense weapons for women since it’s easy to use and can be attached to your keychain for convenient access. It’s also another weapon commonly used by law enforcement, so you know it must be effective.

Pepper spray comes in a small canister containing a hot blinding liquid that will temporarily blind and incapacitate an assailant so you have time to escape and call for help. The liquid is made from capsaicin, which is the spicy chemical found in chiles.

All you need to do to use pepper spray is aim the nozzle at the person’s face and press the button. The spray will release, and shoot from up to around ten feet away, so you can stun your attacker before they even get close enough to you to do harm.

Make sure you practice unlocking the canister and pressing the button to release the spray so you’ll know what it feels like when the spray is released. It’s also essential to remember to use caution with pepper spray indoors or in close proximity spaces since it can lead to you inhaling some of the spray.

4. Tactical Pens

A metal tactical pen.

Tactical pens are yet another non-lethal self-defense weapon for women. These pens are typically made from durable metals like anodized aluminum, steel, or titanium and are only a few inches long, allowing for an inconspicuous weapon.

These weapons generally have pointy ends that can bust glass, with beveled ballpoints, great for writing or hand-to-hand combat. You won’t need as much training with a tactical pen as you will with most other self-defense weapons for women and they are legal in most places.

Pens are viable self-defense options and survival tools that can save your life when you’re being attacked. The pointed end for breaking glass works well in situations where your vehicle is submerged underwater as well.

5. Self-Defense Keychains

Woman holding a personal alarm keychain.

Self-defense keychains are popular choices for women because of their versatility and easy transportation. There are two main types of keychains used for self-defense – cat ears keychains and personal alarm keychains.

Cat Ears Keychains

Cat ears keychains will only appeal to those who like cats, but these keychains are excellent self-defense weapons for women. They are designed as a cat’s face with pointy ears, which are the weapons on this tool.

You must grip this keychain through the ‘eyes,’ with the ears pointing outwards toward an assailant. Use the points to strike your attacker whenever possible. Keychains like this are cute ways to add extra protection for your peace of mind.

The biggest challenge with this self-defense weapon for women is using it in sudden dangerous situations, like a surprise attack. While there are weapons better suited for self-defense, cat ears keychains are effective at inflicting adequate damage to a perpetrator for you to get away safely.

Personal Alarm Keychains

Personal alarm keychains are excellent self-defense weapons for women that are legal in all 50 states. These alarms emit high-pitched loud noises to deter attackers, discourage an active assailant, and alert bystanders to your struggle.

They’re designed to be small and lightweight and easy to attach to your keys or on your purse or bag. The alarms can be triggered in two different ways: by pressing a button or pulling a cord. They usually come with included features such as an LED flashlight and a cord or button to set off the alarm.

If you prefer a non-lethal weapon that’s meant to alert others and draw attention without engaging in a physical struggle, a personal alarm keychain is perfect for you! Most of the time you can expect an attacker to take off if you set off a very loud alarm that begins to attract the attention of everyone around.

7. Self-Defense Open-Point Rings

A cat ears open-point ring.

An open-point ring is a fantastic close-range self-defense weapon for women. These defender rings are worn as everyday jewelry so you’ll find quite a few styles. Generally, a self-defense ring is engineered using strong metals like stainless steel, copper, and rhodium, with stainless steel being the top choice for its durability and corrosion resistance.

They’re designed with subtlety in mind and are immediately accessible without having to dig in your bag, unlock, or unsheath anything. Open-point rings are equipped with beveled points and can inflict significant damage on your attacker.

These rings use a point, spike, or blade to add an extra powerful touch to a blow in the event you must fight off your attacker in hand-to-hand combat. You’ll be able to cut the skin using an open-point ring, draw blood, and collect your assailant’s DNA.

Most of these rings come with some way to sheath the point to protect you from any accidental pokes, whether it’s a cover or if you can fold the pointed tip down into the ring. They’re very practical and functional choices for self-defense weapons for women.

8. Tactical Flashlights

A tactical flashlight.

Tactical flashlights aren’t that much different than regular flashlights. The biggest difference is the lumen power, which is how bright the flashlight is. Flashlights are good self-defense weapons for women who don’t feel comfortable carrying anything more lethal.

Although flashlights can’t help you much in a physical fight, you can use them to deter attackers in dangerous situations by turning the brightness all the way up and shining it directly into their eyes. The bright light will temporarily blind them and give you precious time to escape.

Flashlights can be used to strike an attacker, but you shouldn’t rely on them for that purpose since it requires you to get up close and personal with your assailant.

9. Batons

Woman holding a baton.

Batons are one of the more basic non-lethal self-defense weapons for women to use. A baton is just a short stick that you can use to strike an attacker. They are legal to own and store in your home without a license or permit.

These weapons are very efficient at taking down an assailant by striking them in the arms, hands, legs, or collarbone to temporarily incapacitate them until you can safely escape. Law enforcement officers still use batons to take down criminals, because they are incredibly effective.

You’ll find that different batons are made from different materials so some are light while others are heavy. Some batons are easily concealable, offering inconspicuous non-lethal self-defense from a would-be attacker.

10. Knives

Woman holding a knife while in a defensive stance.

A pocket knife, or other small compact blade, can be a very effective self-defense weapon for women when used safely and efficiently. However, a knife should be one of your last choices, because it can be deadly. Possessing a pocket knife may not be legal in every state, so make sure you check the laws and regulations in your location before you choose a knife for self-defense.

Knives are very affordable and easy to use but you will need training to safely wield a pocket knife without threat of harming yourself by accident. Many women prefer knives for self-defense because they are familiar with them.

How To Choose

The self-defense weapon you should choose for your protection is based on the laws and regulations in your location, as well as your comfort level with weapons.

In some places pocket knives, Tasers, stun guns, and other weapons we’ve talked about here are not legal to possess outside of your home, or at all. Make sure you do your research on which weapons are legal for you to possess before making a final decision.

Consider which weapons you’re most comfortable using and bringing along with you everywhere (or nearly everywhere) you go when you’re trying to figure out which self-defense weapon is best for you.

Wrapping Up Best Self Defense Weapons for Women

A woman wearing a set of brass knuckles

Now that we’ve discussed some of the most popular self-defense weapons for you to choose from, we hope that you can easily choose the best weapon for your needs.

If you’re still interested in ways you can protect yourself, check out our best non-lethal self-defense tools for a comprehensive guide on some of the best products on the market.